Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

December in London


Recommended Posts

Alright, as much as I hate to do this, I must enlist the help of this forum. At this point, I am just way too behind the times to know what is of any interest or good in London. I've heard everything from everything to nothing. (Okay, so I lie about the "everything.")

My point is, I haven't the foggiest whether any of the "best" restaurants in London are actually worth the Pound for the USD (don't laugh).

I'll be in London on business in the middle of December. I'll be spending the subsequent week, and holiday, in Paris.

Short of an open solicitation or cattle call, I'll throw out a list of restaurants that have, at one point or another, made it onto my radar in the last few years (I jot them down as they catch my fancy). Most, I suspect, more than not are either passe or not worth the moolah. At this point, I'm honestly thinking of just hitting The Fat Duck (if I can get in) and eating at St. John for the remainder and saving my dough for Paris. Oh, that's one other detail: I'll be shackled by day, but my nights are on my own.

Gordon Ramsey at RHR

Locanda Locatelli

St. John

River Cafe

The Fat Duck

Hibiscus

La Gavroche

Restaurant Tom Aikens

The Capitol

Petrus

Knowing this list is severely lacking, I'll take on any other suggestions you might have.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

river cafe caught fire a few months ago and is currently closed i believe, you won't go far wrong with that list, all have their fans.

st john also has a spin off - st john bread and wine plus there a few pubs/bistros in a similar vein with st j alumni such as 32 great queen st (?) anchor and hope, and one whose name escapes me but is just over the river quite close to the city - magdalen. all good price / quality for your puny american dollar :laugh:

Edited by Gary Marshall (log)

you don't win friends with salad

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My point is, I haven't the foggiest whether any of the "best" restaurants in London are actually worth the Pound for the USD (don't laugh).

The way the $ is rising against the £ at the moment, it may be you that's laughing by December.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Fat Duck isn't in London.

Sorry, what I didn't say is that I'm getting in a day ahead of business and will be taking advantage of the extra time to (hopefully) travel to Bray.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My point is, I haven't the foggiest whether any of the "best" restaurants in London are actually worth the Pound for the USD (don't laugh).

The way the $ is rising against the £ at the moment, it may be you that's laughing by December.

I believe in miracles, but I won't hold my breath for this one.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like St. John, but it's really not that good, just famous.

Is it actually *not good,* or just *not that special?*

I'm an offalhead. Keep in mind that there aren't any restaurants like St. John (if any) on THIS side of The Puddle.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You don't say if this is your first visit to London - if it is, you might consider some with spectacular views or those in amazing buildings as well, of course, as serving good food.

Galvin at Windows, for example, has stunning views of Hyde Park, and the Mandarin Oriental is in such a spectacular setting, especially with the views of the Park.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You don't say if this is your first visit to London - if it is, you might consider some with spectacular views or those in amazing buildings as well, of course, as serving good food.

Galvin at Windows, for example, has stunning views of Hyde Park, and the Mandarin Oriental is in such a spectacular setting, especially with the views of the Park.

Nah, this is my third visit. I'm here strictly on business by day and fooding by night.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like St. John, but it's really not that good, just famous.

Is it actually *not good,* or just *not that special?*

I'm an offalhead. Keep in mind that there aren't any restaurants like St. John (if any) on THIS side of The Puddle.

There is no question that St John is both good and special - you don't necessarily have to order offal to have a great meal, but it's safe to assume that you'll find something of interest on the menu in addition to the bone marrow. I'd keep an eye on their online menu for a week or so before you go, and that should give you a rough idea of what to expect on the night. It'll also give you an idea of price, which is stunningly reasonable compared to some of the others on your list.

Having eaten at both St John and Momofuku Noodle Bar relatively recently, I don't find St John all that dissimilar from the various Momofukus in terms of philosophy - they're taking excellent ingredients and doing their best to make them shine, whether that means slow-cooking them for hours at a time or serving them raw. That being said, I don't think we have anyplace on this side of the Atlantic that's quite so pure in focus - it's kind of awe inspiring, in its way.

"Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cookbook! Little Red Cookbook!" --Eddie Izzard
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It'll also give you an idea of price, which is stunningly reasonable compared to some of the others on your list.

Which, is exactly why I'm considering eating there four nights out of six.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As long as you are going to Bray, you may want to stop by the Hind's Head. Insist on having the triple-cooked chips, although the kitchen may claim to be out. The quaking pudding is also a very interesting revival of a historic recipe. Waterside Inn is not worth a stop.

Le Gavroche was awful, although some people seem to like it. Hibiscus is the one of the best fine dining in London ATM, although I have yet to try the new Helene Darroze at the Connaught. Gordon Ramsey RHR is solid. Had wonderful crisped confit pig's cheeks at St. John last week, but some dishes can be hit or miss (like the braised chitterlings with beets). It is certainly one of the more interesting London restaurants, but not if you are coming from France or Spain. These countries do offal better.

Umu is one of my favorite restaurants in town, but it is not of the quality of the American top Japanese places like Masa or Urasawa in terms of sushi, let alone the good places in Japan. However, the Kyoto-style kaiseki dishes can be very interesting, and it is the top Japanese in Europe IMO.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is there a menupages.com-like site for London? I would like to see the menus for places web-less restaurants like Hope & Anchor.

Also, any restaurants, other than St. John, that are particularly known for offal?

Edited by ulterior epicure (log)

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd recommend Hereford Road.

I think the chef is ex-St John (but someone will doubtless correct me if this is wrong), the food is seasonal with a daily changing menu and has a fair amount of offal and cheaper cuts. On the occasions I've been there, we've managed to have drinks, two courses each and a pudding to share, with a good bottle of wine for well under £100 for 2 - not cheap certainly but pretty favourable for good food in London these days.

It's had a reasonably tough time on London Eating with regard to service and staff being miserable, but I've never found this to be the case.

Website:

Hereford Road

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll second the recommendations of Magdalen and Hibiscus. Magdalen is more similar to St John, Hibiscus is a bit more experimental. Magdalen is rather cheaper though; given that you're concerned about the exchange rate, it might be worth leaving Hibiscus for another trip when you can go there for the good-value set lunch instead.

Another possibly off-beat suggestion is Tayyabs in Whitechapel; incredibly noisy and busy and crowded, unless you get there _very_ early you'll have to queue, and it's the exact opposite of white-tablecloth fine dining, but they do the best lamb chops I've ever eaten.

Re Culinista's recommendation of Umu: I've only been twice, but the service was not up to scratch on either visit; it went seriously downhill once the place filled up, in a way that impacted on our enjoyment of the food. They just didn't seem to have enough staff on the floor, and both times they rushed us through the first part of our meal, suggesting that they knew they'd have problems later on. It's not even like we hit the peak; we dined early, in terms of both the week and the evening. (This is a sidetrack given that the original poster seems to be much more of a St John person than an Umu person; but I would recommend Saki, opposite Smithfield Market, as an overall better alternative to Umu. The prices are much more sensible and their vegan kaiseki menu is excellent.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As long as you are going to Bray, you may want to stop by the Hind's Head. Insist on having the triple-cooked chips, although the kitchen may claim to be out. The quaking pudding is also a very interesting revival of a historic recipe. Waterside Inn is not worth a stop.

Le Gavroche was awful, although some people seem to like it. Hibiscus is the one of the best fine dining in London ATM, although I have yet to try the new Helene Darroze at the Connaught. Gordon Ramsey RHR is solid. Had wonderful crisped confit pig's cheeks at St. John last week, but some dishes can be hit or miss (like the braised chitterlings with beets). It is certainly one of the more interesting London restaurants, but not if you are coming from France or Spain. These countries do offal better.

Umu is one of my favorite restaurants in town, but it is not of the quality of the American top Japanese places like Masa or Urasawa in terms of sushi, let alone the good places in Japan. However, the Kyoto-style kaiseki dishes can be very interesting, and it is the top Japanese in Europe IMO.

i thought the hinds head was utterly average

"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My point is, I haven't the foggiest whether any of the "best" restaurants in London are actually worth the Pound for the USD (don't laugh).

The way the $ is rising against the £ at the moment, it may be you that's laughing by December.

I believe in miracles, but I won't hold my breath for this one.

Have you looked at how far the £ has fallen against the US$ in the last 48 hours? Start smiling, anyway...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...